MINISTER for Finance, Michael Noonan, has been described by colleagues as “a legend in Limerick and national politics” during a civic reception hosted by Limerick County Council to mark his contribution to political life.
The ceremony took place at Limerick County Hall in Dooradoyle this Monday and was attended by the minister and members of his family as well as many well-known faces from across the local political spectrum.
Speaking at the civic reception, Cllr Mary Harty, Cathaoirleach of Limerick County Council said that a comment by a younger colleague during the week summed up “all that is the Michael Noonan we know today”.
“That comment was ‘whatever your political allegiance, whatever side of the house you sit on, everyone acknowledges that Michael Noonan is a legend in Limerick and national politics,” she said to a round of applause inside the packed council chamber.
Michael Noonan began his political career at 84 O’Connell Street in Limerick – the former offices of Limerick County Council when he was elected to the council at the local elections in 1974. He served as a member for the Bruff electoral area until October 1983, having being re-elected at the local elections in 1979. He was appointed as Minister for Justice in December 1982 and remained as a councillor until October 1983. Mr Noonan was again elected to the council as a member for the Bruff electoral area at the local elections in 1991. He ceased to be a member of the council on his appointment as Minister for Health in December 1994.
During his time as a TD, the Loughill native has served as a government minister in numerous departments, including industry and commerce, energy, justice, health and finance. He also was appointed leader of Fine Gael and leader of the Opposition in 2001. Mr Noonan was appointed Minister for Finance on March 9, 2011.
“Political careers when they last a long time are a bit like the graph you see on the bottom of a bed when you visit a relation in hospital,” said Minister Noonan at County Hall – “the graph jumps up and down quite a lot. So I have had a lot of success but a lot of bad times as well – at present, it’s quite interesting.
“It is challenging but at the end of the day it is cabinet government,” he pointed out.